The injury bug bit Wilson Ramos yet again earlier this month when he landed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but he’s moving closer to rejoining the Nationals.
Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos did sprints at Nationals Park yesterday and took batting practice today. Nationals manager Matt Williams believes that he could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, which puts him on pace to return when he’s first eligible next Thursday.
Between his recent hamstring injury and hamate bone surgery in April, Ramos has only appeared in 24 games so far this season. There’s little doubt that the 26-year-old has All-Star potential, but injuries have kept him from a true breakout in the majors.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.